Friday, November 30, 2012

My Hair Savior!

I have been having problems with hair fall since I entered college. It may be due to stress, pollution, or a combination of many factors, but I have come to live with it, after all, we all shed hair.. it's just that I shed more than the usual.

When I embarked on a weight loss journey last year and started eating lesser than I normally did, losing weight boosted my confidence and morale, but the downside to it was that my hair fall worsened. Again, it might be due to many factors (Jessie told me it might be because eating less also meant less nutrients for the hair), but one thing was for sure: I was quickly losing my newly gained confidence.

This was a "stolen" shot Jessie took last January (2012) while we were at the Quezon Memorial Circle. At that time, my mom and I were checking the stalls selling clothes, and while the image was taken from afar, I was quite alarmed when I saw how my head looked like. I edited this image to concentrate on me - original picture shows mom and the stalls at the tiangge.

I started worrying about my situation. I thought of purchasing this product at the Home TV Shopping, or maybe purchase that product endorsed by a renowned beauty consultant, but the price held me back (both were too pricey). In the end, I just embraced the problem, and worse comes to worst, I will just either wear a turban or maybe shave my head entirely.

Last year, when I attended the Blogapalooza, we (the attendees) received some Human ♥ Nature products along with the current magalogue. The kit didn't include any hair products, but thru the magalogue, I have learned about their Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner, which I hoped to try, but I was having hesitations because the time Jessie and I first bought the Human ♥ Nature products and I tried the shampoo Jessie bought (I forgot the exact name of the variant, but it did have guava scent), my scalp itched. Still, I hoped to try it, but the chance never came, until mid this year, when I found out our neighbor started selling Human ♥ Nature products. I quickly placed an order for the Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner, in 50ml.

The shampoo was obviously not as thick as the usual shampoo I have used in the past. Despite that "Creamfoam" technology it has, do know that it wouldn't be as sudsy as the usual shampoos (it wouldn't really bubble a lot, no need to add more shampoo on your hair, in time you will get used to it). Some people didn't like that - but I actually did, because it allowed me to massage my scalp thoroughly and not just coat my hair with bubbles. The aloe vera scent was mild, but somehow I didn't like it that much - hopefully they can come up with a different scent or a range of different scents to choose from.

I was happy that my scalp didn't itch when I used this. In fact, my hair loved it a lot because it was bouncier and much easier to comb, even if I just used the shampoo.

The conditioner on the other hand also had a different consistency to the conditioner we have in our shower rack. It was a little airy and light, and it was so easy to use. Because of its light consistency, rinsing my hair didn't require too much water. As for its performance, I personally love this (as well) because even if I don't comb my hair after showering, nobody would really notice (but that's also because I have wavy hair). One time I went on a sleepover and forgot to bring my comb... I used my fingers as my comb and all just went well.

It took me nearly a month to use the 50ml. bottles, and even before I finished it, I already saw a significant change. Just within a week of using it, I noticed that my hair brush didn't have that much hair, I also didn't shed a whole lot of hair while shampooing/conditioning it, and no more hairs on my pillow when I get up in the morning. Of course, I still have hair falling every now and then (it's normal, we all know that), but not as alarming as before. I call this shampoo and conditioner my hair savior. No need for me to buy the expensive hair fall products!

This is how my hair looks like now. See the change? No more runway... and I am starting to have bangs, too!

I still use other shampoo, though, as I don't want my hair to get used to this formula (I learned we don't have to stick with just one product). What I do is, use the Human ♥ Nature Strengthening Shampoo on Day 1, then use a different shampoo on Day 2 (I try to stick to the hair fall products, but at times I do use any other shampoo), then use the Human ♥ Nature Strengthening Shampoo and Human ♥ Nature Strengthening Conditioner on Day 3.. and repeat Day 1 again. 

In conclusion...
  • I love that these products are (nearly) 100% all natural product and do not contain SLS/SLES. 
  • I love that they have the 50ml. trial size bottles; if it didn't work for me, I can just toss it and wouldn't feel guilty about it. Of course, I also love that they have the bigger containers, which what I am using now.
  • I love that even if I use just the shampoo, my hair is still soft and easy to comb.
  • I love that it's priced reasonably - the 50ml. bottles are (I believe) just less than 50 pesos each.
 I will always be forever grateful for these products.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Etude House Nail Polish | PP903

How busy can I be?

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I attended a culinary class then I spent time with my sister and today, I woke up late, then the family went to the mall to celebrate brother's birthday. I need to sleep early tonight, but will share this before I go to dreamland.

Etude House Nail Polish | PP903Etude House Nail Polish | PP903 Etude House Nail Polish | PP903 Etude House Nail Polish | PP903

I purchased this bottle together with the other purple Etude House Nail Polish (PP905). At that time, I really wanted these "milky" colored nail polishes, but I didn't want to test each of the colors on my nails, so I went for this one before I purchase others of its kind.

The shade reminds of me Ube Milkshake. It's definitely pretty, but I couldn't understand why it made my skin look darker in some angles. Despite the not-so-flattering skin shade, I really loved this one. This was the second time I used this nail polish (first time I didn't photograph it), and the first time I used it, it glided just smoothly on my nails, but now it was a little thicker and very streaky! I posted a picture of my nails using my cell phone right after I finished painting them and posted it on Facebook, and my sister said it looked ugly because it shows brush strokes. Thankfully, the top coat minimized the streaks, but it was still quite visible. From afar, it looks okay, though.

As with the other Etude House products I used, this chipped easily, too, but one thing I liked about it was that I can just dab some lacquer on the chipped part and it dried flat, so it wasn't noticeable that I just concealed some areas. :) 

I passed by Etude House earlier and noticed there weren't much nail polishes anymore, but then, they still have a few shades I liked, so maybe two weeks from now I will allow myself to buy two more bottles, but will go for Nature Republic first as I haven't tried their products yet.

The First Step + Goals & Challenges for the Week

I wasn't able to post this last week because I got so busy. Anyway, I already made the first step - walking to and around Colinas Verdes. It was a great change because getting up early in the morning was quite difficult for me to do. I guess it was also a blessing that I received a call at 5am, making me get up and get going after the call ended.

Colinas Verdes Clubhouse
Cinderella Man Flowers from a Vine What Remains of a Palm Tree

It's been a while since I last walked that long, and I just have to say that my legs were hurting so bad! Still, I was thankful that I was able to endure it. One thing I realized though, is that I badly need a new pair of running shoes. The one I currently own is still in tip-top shape, but the length is just enough to fit my feet, so after an hour of walking, my big toes would feel slight pain. Hopefully there will be a sale happening soon, so I can purchase a new pair - big enough to allow my feet some breathing space.

I still haven't done any of the Hip Hop Abs routines because of my hectic schedule, but now that my body has already took the first step, I think I am very much ready to do the rest of the fitness things I have to do. Let's start losing weight! :)

This is the last week of November, so I will treat this week as as some sort of preparation for December. With the holidays coming in, there will be a lot of feasts and food trips, making this weight loss journey difficult. Well, with the rewards I plan to give myself, for sure I will work hard to achieve it.

For this week (26 November - 01 December), I listed 10 goals/challenges:
  1. Walk to and around Colinas Verdes everyday, with pictures to back it up.
  2. 2/3 cups of rice per meal. 
  3. 3 cups of coffee for the entire week.
  4. Drink 15+ cups of water everyday.
  5. Finish Hip Hop Abs' "Hips, Buns, and Thighs" routine.
  6. Clean the Closet. (Not really weight-loss related, I know...)
  7. Eat at least 1 kind of vegetable everyday (potatoes not included)
  8. Use the Elliptical Machine for at least 10minutes a day.
  9. Continue with sharing the Beck Diet Solution.
  10. Keep a Food Log (everyday has to have an update).
Biggest challenge would be #5, but I will do it. :)

Reward for the weekly challenges is nail polish, so if I can all these challenges, I will reward myself with 2 bottles of Nature Republic nail polish.

Will share my fitness/exercise schedule tomorrow.

Macro Monday Today's Flowers

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Fresh Start

Yes. I think all of us deserve a fresh start, and it is something that I am doing just now. I still am struggling taking that first step as I tend to just don't care about many things ("so what if I am fat" that sort of thing), but even if I have a lot of superficial reasons why I want to lose weight, main reason for me doing this is for my health. The time I was in La Union, I had a conversation with my diabetic aunt and she told me that one of my cousins is already having elevated blood sugar. He's still not diabetic, but they're monitoring his activities and food intake to prevent himself having the disease that seems too rule our family. This cousin of mine is very fit - he plays basketball when he has the chance, he's not fat at all, but I guess it has something to do with genetics and food he's eating. This conversation frightened and worried me a bit because I am obese with very minimal to no fitness program (since I stumbled a block) and is eating more than the usual. I am a very good candidate for diabetes, and I seriously don't want that. When I started losing weight last year, I told myself I will eat what I want to eat, but will minimize my portion. If I don't work and eventually get diabetes, that means I would have to give up a lot of food, and that would be depressing. :)

Like what I have said, I do have a lot of superficial reasons why I am starting again. I already mentioned that two of my cousins are getting married early next year (one in January, one in February). Another reason is this possibility of my friend K traveling to the Philippines mid next year, and even if he's one person who doesn't really care if I am thin or fat, I just want to have this sense of change in my body when we go on a holiday again. It's been two years since he last traveled here, I don't want him to see that nothing has changed in the last two years despite my attempts.

As for motivation, I finally found the dress! When I started this blog, I have wanted to share this dress. Inspired by a tradition in the TV Series "The Biggest Loser," I wanted to wear this dress when I hit my goal weight of 150lbs. I am not sure if that would fit me when I reach that weight, but I really want to wear this dress! This is my sister's, actually. She wore this maybe two or three times, then she didn't care much about the dress anymore (maybe because it shows quite a lot of breast meat). When she wore this the first time I have loved the dress, even complimented my sister looking so pretty wearing it. The picture on the right was taken by our late father. I don't know how much I weigh that time, and I also can't tell if I am the same size or I am fatter or thinner now. Anyway, I kept the dress now, and will take it out on Christmas next year. I will do my everything to make sure I will wear that dress when we celebrate Christmas 2013.

Yesterday, I weighed myself. Reading came out at 212lbs., which meant I gained 2 more pounds after my last trip. However, readings are quite inaccurate, as when I weighed myself this morning it read 210lbs. Now I don't know what my actual weight is, so let's just put it at 211lbs. :) I also measured myself, but I won't share the digits as I am still in denial of what I found out. I will just share them in months to come. :)

I might be starting again, but there won't be much changes in the routines as it was actually effective in helping me lose weight. I have now listed a schedule (which I think I have shared a few months ago) to distribute exercise routines, as I surely can't do it all at once. Gym is still something I hope to try, but maybe I will just do that come next year, to change up things.

Re-reading The Beck Diet Solution, I came across Day 4 lesson, "Give yourself a credit." Most of the money I have saved in my "credit account" has used up, and the remaining amount I kept in a "piggy bank." I don't intend to use it anymore (will consider it my own treasure) and will have a new one. :) What am I saving up for? A Mt. Pulag trip once I reach my goal weight. It has been a dream of mine and I figured it would be a very awesome gift for myself for all the work I did. That credit account will also be used to give myself rewards every time I lose 10lbs. These rewards aren't lavish and definitely not food related, but because I have already vowed not to shop for clothes, footwear, and bags 'til I reach 180lbs. (but allow me to buy myself a dress for Christmas), giving myself rewards for every 10lbs lost will be a great confidence and morale boost.

Right now, there is one thing that I am very fond of - nail polish. I am restricting myself to buy new bottles of nail polish as I still haven't used the nearly 10 bottles of nail polish I bought recently, so I will use this as some sort of reward as well. Every Sunday, I will post my 10 goals for the coming week, and if I do everything, I will reward myself with a bottle of nail polish. Just a bottle, because I only get to share my NOTW on my other blog every Saturdays, so no need to buy multiple bottles. It's a win-win situation, really... as if I want to feed my other blog with nail polish related posts, I have to do my goals for the week. If I missed one thing, no nail polish for me, and that would make my other blog sad. :)

Monday and Tuesday this week I used to contemplate - talking to myself and feed my mind the things I need to do. I know it sounds a little shallow, that all I have to do for this new beginning is to take the first step, but I don't want to reach a halt anymore, and with that I figured I gotta prepare my mental and emotional state as well. It is actually working - taking pictures of my motivations, writing my thoughts, re-reading my blog - so tomorrow I will take my first step. No actual amount of weight to lose this month (as it's 10 more days 'til the month ends); I just want to get going and see the changes as I go. Of course, I will update the weight come December 1.

Oh, just for fun...the other day I posted a picture of the 10 shirts/blouses I bought from not-so-distant past that I haven't worn yet. Well, I tried them on and about 7 still fits me because the fabric is stretchable, but no way will I wear these in my current body frame because it just hugged my body and shows every bulge and curves I have. I took these pictures above for a before-and-after post, coming by the first day of 2013.

Here's to a brand new start!